Police Pay Tamir Rice's Family $6 Million for Fatal Shooting
City of Cleveland to pay $6 million to Tamir Rice's family to settle lawsuit over fatal police shooting.
April 25, 2016
Cleveland has agreed to pay $6 million to the family of Tamir Rice, the 12-year-old boy gunned down by a white police officer in November 2014 while he was playing in a park.
An order filed in U.S. District Court in Cleveland on Monday says the city will pay out $3 million this year and $3 million the next. The lawsuit filed by Rice's family against the city and officers and dispatchers who were involved in the shooting alleged police acted recklessly when they confronted the boy on Nov. 22, 2014.
Video of the encounter shows a cruiser skidding to a stop and rookie patrolman Timothy Loehmann firing within two seconds of opening the car door. Tamir wasn't given first aid until about four minutes later, when an FBI agent trained as a paramedic arrived. The boy died the next day. A grand jury declined to bring charges against the officers, although a federal civil rights investigation is pending. The shooting raised questions about the wider issue of police brutality toward blacks in the U.S., spurred protests around Cleveland and helping spark the creation of a state standards board to lay out rules about the use of deadly force in law enforcement.
Tamir's mother, Samaria Rice, had alleged that police failed to immediately provide first aid for her son and caused intentional infliction of emotional distress in how they treated her and her daughter after the shooting. The officers had responded to a 911 call in which a man drinking a beer and waiting for a bus outside Cudell Recreation Center reported that a man was waving a gun and pointing it at people. The man told the call taker that the person holding the gun was likely a juvenile and the weapon probably wasn't real, but the call taker never passed that information to the dispatcher who gave Loehmann and Garmback the high-priority call.
Tamir lived across the street from the recreation center where he played nearly every day, and at the time was carrying a plastic airsoft gun that shoots nonlethal plastic pellets. The settlement comes two years after the city settled another lawsuit connected to the killings of two unarmed black people in a 137-shot barrage of police gunfire at the end of a 2012 car chase. Cleveland settled a lawsuit brought by the victims' families for a total of $3 million.